“Homeland,” Season 2, Episode 7

Season 2, Episode 7


“Homeland’s” latest episode, “The Clearing,” debuted on a weekend that saw two significant spy-related stories break in the real world. General David Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA after revealing that he was having an affair with his biographer and possibly other trysts as well. Twitter lit up with “Homeland”-related gags; mine was “Since David Petraeus’ resignation means a job opening at the CIA, I wonder if Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson will get promotions.” In the world of fake spies, Skyfall had the biggest opening of any James Bond film in history.

Bond may be a covert agent, but his adventures seldom take him to the shadowy espionage world of manipulation, secrets and lies. In the later Roger Moore films, “Bond. James Bond” seems to be both a secret agent and world famous. In the real world, Petraeus dealt with state secrets all the time, and while I wouldn’t speculate about his family life, he seemed willing to bring secrecy home with him. “Homeland” typically emphasizes the challenges of interpersonal trust, loyalty, deception and manipulation, themes that run through the major subplots this week.

“Oh, there you are Brody,” Roya Hammad doesn’t say when the episode begins and Brody “accidentally” runs into her while jogging. He pushes her for details about the Gettysburg shooting that left six federal agents dead, and she demurs, but indicates that the resolution will come soon. She also urges Brody to keep Walden happy. “I always do,” he snaps, with a pissy expression on this face that signals how much he hates Walden.